ALBANY — New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday announced $4.4 million in refunds for customers planning to attend shows and concerts that were canceled due to COVID-19.
James announced an agreement with Ticket Fulfillment Services, L.P. and five affiliated ticket resale websites for failing to provide the legally mandated refunds to over 11,000 customers who had purchased tickets in the beginning of the pandemic.
New York law requires companies which facilitate ticket resales must guarantee refunds to their customers in the event an event is canceled, according to James’ announcement, and these companies collectively denied $4.4 million in refunds to customers.
“As New Yorkers were suffering from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, TFS and its affiliates illegally denied refunds to thousands of consumers for events that were canceled — all while pocketing millions of dollars in the process,” James said. “Today, I’m proud to announce that we’ve helped secure $4.4 million in refunds for any consumer who purchased tickets for events in New York that wants one, and that we’ve forced TFS and its affiliates to change their cancellation process going forward.”
Starting in April 2020, TFS approved requests from five of its 11 affiliates to go from their policy of refunding money when an event is canceled to a policy which would instead give a customer credit toward future ticket purchases. The Attorney General’s Office said TFS also drafted or authorized revisions to the website’s Terms of Service where references to revisions to refunds were removed. TFS then sent out tens of thousands of cancellation notices to consumers, informing them they were not subject to the new credit policy, which was not in line with the states law requiring companies that facilitate ticket sales to guarantee refunds. According to the AG’s office employees of TFS also refused to provide refunds to many customers who had contacted their customer service.
“If an event is canceled, consumers can rest assured that they will have a right to a refund,” James said. “My office is committed to delivering justice, which is why we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the welfare and wallets of New Yorkers.”
TFS will now guarantee refunds to New York consumers and to out-of-state buyers to New York venues who purchased their tickets through an affiliate’s website — regardless of the affiliate marketer’s ability or willingness to refund its commission — if the event for which the tickets were purchased was cancelled. According to the AG’s office TFS will also discontinue an affiliate’s right to sell tickets through its platform if the affiliate fails to offer or intends to deny a refund to any such consumer.
The Attorney General’s Office said after the AG’s inquiry began and she had urged the companies to do so TFS and its affiliates sent emails offering refunds to all New York consumers and out-of-state purchasers to New York venues whose events had been canceled.
To claim a refund, consumers are encouraged to contact customer support for the website they used to purchase their ticket. New Yorkers may be eligible for a refund if their event was cancelled, and if they are either a New York consumer or a consumer who bought a ticket to a New York venue, through any of the following companies’ websites: Albany Theater, Austin Theater, Bold Ticket, Boston Theater, Buffalo Theatre, Chicago Theater, Cincinnati Theater, Denver Theater, Durham Theater, Fort Myers Theater, Grand Rapids Theater, Hershey Harrisburg Theatre, Las Vegas Theater, Nashville Theatre, New York City Theatre, Norfolk Theater, Online City Tickets, Orlando Theatre, Philadelphia Theater, Pittsburgh Theater, Portland Theater, Rochester Theater, Salt Lake City Theater, San Francisco Theater, Sarasota Theater, Seats, Seattle Theatre, Secure Box Office, Syracuse Theater, Theatre Land America, Tickets Center, Tickets on Sale, Toronto Theatre, or West Palm Theater.